5 ways to motivate your employees this fall

January 4, 2021

Vacations are essential for employees to recharge their batteries. A few days before their departure, it's often a race to complete their to-do list and bring the year to a close.

So they used their last resources to think of nothing but rest during their vacations. And rightly so! The accumulated stress of the last few weeks or months, the demands of the modern world and the lack of sleep are a real brake on business development. A warrior's rest is called for!

On the other hand, we often think that once they're back from their vacations, they'll be fresh enough to return to peak productivity on day one. Unfortunately, this is often not true!

It's not easy to return from a relaxing rhythm to a day filled with sometimes stressful tasks. You have to give them time to acclimatize to the work environment and find their feet.  

Here are 5 ways to motivate your employees when they return from vacation, without rushing them.

! But be careful! Rushing them may even be counter-productive, and may lengthen their adaptation time. This can take up to a week. Don't ask too much of your employees during their first week back, but by the following Monday, their motivation should be boosted.

5 ways to motivate employees when they return from vacation

#1 - Creating conditions for exchange and conviviality

Talking to each member of the team after several days or weeks away shows your genuine interest in them.

Try to reproduce the cliché of a chat next to the coffee machine to make it informal and soothing. These meetings can be both a key motivator and a way for you to gauge their morale and see how they feel about future projects.

#2 - Supporting and enhancing the team

Getting back into the swing of things after a few days in the clouds not only impacts their motivation, but also their self-confidence.

Faced with their numerous tasks and the schedule for the coming weeks, they may not feel up to the task. This is where your presence is needed more than ever. They need you to listen and support them.

Instead of reprimanding them for their lack of productivity or sluggishness, you need to show them that their role within the company is indispensable, and that their contribution is essential to the team's success.

A positive reminder of good pre-holiday performance makes employees feel valued. You create a relationship of trust that has a positive impact on productivity and motivation. I guarantee you that this type of conversation will quickly restore a taste for work.

#3 - Plan a fitness program

We can compare this to getting back into shape for sport. Starting with long, closely-spaced sessions doesn't allow you to keep up the pace for very long, because the results aren't visible and the effort is enormous.

It's the same at work. Expecting high results quickly and giving all the year's objectives at once is a blow to morale.

A debriefing with your team will enable you to draw up a minimum action plan:

  • This can be based on a change in the division of labor between teams, or on the development of a matrix of priority objectives.
  • These adjustments will reassure employees and enable them to look forward to the coming months calmly.

#4 - Don't feel guilty and take it one step at a time

Let's face it, we all know that when we get back to the office we'll be faced with a saturated mailbox, messages on our answering machine or a pile of accumulated mail.

In short, this sense of urgency quickly takes over, directly overtaking the benefits of the vacation. The result is the anxiety of getting back into the swing of things.

To avoid undermining employee morale, it's best to accept that your employees are not immediately in action, and that they allow themselves more time to do their tasks.

We have the right to allow ourselves a few days to get back into our most optimal rhythm. So there's no need to feel guilty, or make anyone feel guilty, if the return to school goes smoothly!

#5 - Plan group activities

Team building is crucial to a successful start to the new year. Sharing moments of pleasure with the team is highly prized and helps improve the atmosphere at work.

It's also a perfect opportunity to reflect together on the objectives to be set, to discuss fears and difficulties, and to use the creativity of each employee to improve day-to-day operations.

Team-building is built on fun activities. Here are two examples:

  • Short-term: Organize a team breakfast

Organize a team breakfast or lunch when everyone's back!

After the end-of-year vacations, this is often the best time to do it, since vacations are all taken at the same time.

It's good to know that talking about happy, fun events increases endorphins. Hormones that are essential for reducing the stress of returning from vacation, while allowing you to continue dreaming about it by chatting with your colleagues.

This strengthens both team cohesion and well-being at work - what else?

  • Long-term: Planning and communicating about outings and activities in the coming months

To re-motivate your employees, it's also important to give them fun dates to reach right from the start.

Remember when you tell a child how many nights to sleep before going to Disney Land Paris. That excitement and motivation are inexhaustible.

Make sure that the euphoria of future team events is as close as possible to that of our inner child.

Organizing teambuildings helps to strengthen the bonds between employees and thus improve the atmosphere at work. A happy employee is one who achieves good results. And if you can incorporate the company's values into your events, your employees will know who they're working for and why. This synergy is essential if you want to keep the machine running as fast as possible!

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